With an eye on emerging markets, as well as the growing small premium segment, Saab execs have made it clear that an entry level model designed to take on the Aud A1 and BMW 1 Series is on their radar. Now comes word that a small premium Saab, likely named the 9-1, could arrive sooner than expected thanks to platform sharing with another automaker.
In a recent interview, Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson commented that while a subcompact isn’t in the brand’s current production plans, there’s a possibility that the underlying platform could be donated by or shared with another automaker. Jonsson even went so far as to say that several other automakers have already come forward looking to partner with Saab on different technology aspects.
Platform sharing is becoming increasingly popular in a post-recession auto industry, where automakers are forced to work together to reduce costs and share emissions technology. The tie-up between Fiat and Chrysler is set to include considerable product sharing, while recently Mercedes parent company Daimler announced a partnership with Renault and just yesterday we heard the first rumors of the love-child between Volkswagen and Suzuki.
Jonsson didn’t go so far as to name any potential partners in the auto industry, but several smaller automakers, including Mitsubishi and Mazda, are in need of world-wide partners as well.